Let’s face it. Most of us are still reeling from the 2016 election. Dazed and confused, we are floundering about posting furiously on our social feeds about all the craziness that is happening around us. Desperately hoping this is all just a bad dream we will soon wake up from.
We can wake up, and it’s going to take an utter paradigm shift to yank us from our deep sleep. And guess what, it’s not as hard as we think it is.
Clair Brown is a professor of economics, the Director of the Center for Work, Technology, and Society at UC Berkeley, and a practicing Buddhist. In her new book, Buddhist Economics, she explains in easily accessible terms what Buddhist Economics is and how we can achieve it.
I was honored that Claire asked me to work with her to create a short animated piece explaining our current economic model and the Buddhist economic model. With a simple shift in our choices and the awakening of our human nature we call all thrive. Check out the short video here and please share share share!
According to this approach, our path forward is based on three simple truths about human nature. These are: human nature is kind and altruistic, humans are interdependent with nature, and humans are interdependent with each other.
You know what? This isn’t a stretch. Every day I encounter humans from all walks of life living these truths. Maybe it’s because I look for it. I see people smiling at each other, helping each other and genuinely being kind.
The other day I was in the grocery store with my daughter buying food and a bottle of wine for a dinner party that evening, when along comes a sweet older woman. As she stared blankly at the wall of wine bottles, she turns to me and says, “You’re buying wine, I need a bottle of red for an event, and I have no idea what to buy”. Yes, it’s true the wine aisle, like most aisles in our grocery stores can be daunting. (Ahh, choices and consumption, but hey, there can’t ever be too much wine, right?)
Anyway, I asked her how much she wanted to spend and then offered her up one of my favorite reasonably priced local choices, and she smiled from ear to ear. Then she asked me, “Can I give you a hug?!” “Of course!” I said and she proceeded to hug and kiss not only me, but my daughter! It was so sweet and set us all up for a beautiful day. One moment, three people sharing kindness, support, and love. It’s really that easy.
This book is practical and hopeful—and an important read for all of us if we’re going to get off the materialistic treadmill and focus on the things that are important to us—which are living mindfully, engaging in relationships that give our life meaning, and caring for Mother Earth.